With all the growing importance of Israel in the regional and global scene that certainly parallels many prophecies there is still a missing link – what about the Jews? Is this the time that in tandem with the State becoming more important so will the Jewish people? Are we about to become "A light to the goyim?" At first glance not – but under the surface something momentous is happening. Something that may have immense personal ramifications for every Jewish individual.
The Red Heifer – Para Adumah
During Temple times, ritual purity was of utmost importance.
We Jews are in a state that is known as "Tumat Met" – the most severe form of Ritual Impurity. We have been in this spiritual state since the destruction of the Second Temple. During Temple times, ritual purity was of utmost importance. Someone who was ritually impure could not enter the Temple, so the Sages were very punctilious in safeguarding themselves. There were various ways of becoming ritually pure again such as bathing--or rather, immersing oneself in a mikveh containing the proscribed measurement of water: until today 40 seah (approx. 120 gallons / 575 liters). The most complete ritual for purification involved receiving water mixed with the ashes of a red cow.
The process is defined in the book of Numbers (19:1-22). Firstly the heifer must be red in color, without blemish, and it must not have been used to perform work. The heifer is then ritually slaughtered (Num. 19:3) and burned outside of the camp (Num. 19:3–6). Cedar wood, hyssop, and wool dyed scarlet are added to the fire, and the remaining ashes are placed in a vessel containing pure water.
In order to purify a person who has become ritually contaminated by contact with a corpse, water from the vessel is sprinkled on him, using a bunch of hyssop, on the third and seventh day of the purification process.
The priest who performs the ritual then becomes ritually unclean, and must then bathe himself and his clothes in a mikveh. He is deemed impure until evening.
This whole process is known in Torah as a "chok" or law for which we have no rational explanation. It is even difficult for us to understand what impurity actually is, but that should not stop us making an attempt.
But what does "impure" mean?
The key to understanding the mystical background in the laws of purity and impurity is to analyze those Hebrew nouns. Impure is ‘Tamei’/spelled tet-mem-alef and Pure is ‘Tahor’/tof-hei-vav-reish.
...a person who is impure is somehow blocked from receiving spiritual light.
The letters of the word impure can be rearranged to spell alef-tet-mem, meaning "sealed," and the letters for pure contain the two letter root of the word for "light". From this it is easy to draw the conclusion that a person who is impure is somehow blocked from receiving spiritual light. In fact the sages who lived at the time of the Holy Ari in Zefat proclaimed that to reach the spiritual levels the Ari obtained, he "must" have had access to the ashes of the para adumah. This statement implies that a person who has been purified by the ashes of a red cow can obtain higher spiritual and intellectual levels than one who has not.
In the book "Faith and Folly," Rabbi Yaakov Hillel states (p. 45) after the purification by the ashes of the red cow was lost in the time of the Talmudic sages, it was no longer possible to enter into the "orchard" – that is, the higher spiritual worlds of Yetzira, Beriya and Atzilut.
We can add that at the time when the purification was possible we had prophets and men whose intellect shines until today, such as the rabbinic scholars of the Mishnah and the Talmud. These sages achieved levels of understanding that we can only marvel at today. The judges on the Sanhedrin (supreme rabbinical court) at that time needed to know the 70 (!) major languages, in order to be able to speak to the accused or witnesses in their own tongue. The early sages knew all of Scripture and traditional teachings by heart; they redacted the Mishnah from memory. It seems possible that this purification has an effect on the mind (perhaps opening up the sealed 90% of the brain that we don’t currently have access too).
The Next Stage
We Jews are supposed to work on ourselves spiritually. This is emphasized during the "Counting of the Omer" period when we try and improve our character attributes day by day in accordance with the combination of sefirot (Divine attributes) of the particular day. We also have to be humble and kind and love each other, as well as keeping all the dietary laws and praying and learning and working in the proper ethical manner.
Imagine if a spiritually rectified Jewish person is given access to this extra influx of spiritual light by being purified with the waters of the red cow. For a start, his meditations would be quantifiably different than anyone else on earth. A leader of the Jews who had this sort of spiritual and intellectual "edge" over other leaders would out maneuver them at every power game they attempted. Non-Jews would come from all over the world to be taught the Seven Mitzvot binding on all mankind and the Jewish Sages would teach them each in their own language!
I use the word "imagine" because the power of imagination is something that can actually help cause change. Jews are required by the very first law in the Code of Jewish Law to rise out of bed "like a lion". We are obligated to look at ourselves "as if" we had been redeemed from slavery in Egypt.
We have a ritually pure red cow. According to the Temple Institute of Jerusalem it is healthy and completely kosher. See for yourself: Watch on YouTube.com
It was checked by a valid rabbinical court after shedding its winter coat and found to be perfect. What if it were possible to make the ashes in a proper Torah manner?
Imagine how you might feel if you underwent this purification process....a homeopathic remedy using all of the major four elements.
If you have ever dipped in a pure mountain spring like those here in Zefat, then you know how it feels to emerge "pure" from a mikveh – if so imagine how many times you were to multiply that feeling if you were purified by a process that has not been available for the last 2,000 years! This is a process we might call today a homeopathic remedy using all of the major four elements.
Fire – the heifer is burnt
Earth – the burnt heifer is ground into dust
Water – the ashes are mixed with water
Wind – the water is sprinkled twice in one week over the individual
Imagine how the world might be if spiritually rectified sages gave guidance to every person who seeks it via the "sage app" on their mobile phone.
I believe we are moving closer!